Wizards can dazzle with 3-point efficiency

Wizards can dazzle with 3-point efficiency
November 8, 2013, 11:30 am
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The Wizards may have just one win to show for it, but they've scored at least 102 points in three of their four games heading into Friday vs. the Brooklyn Nets at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET)

The reason is simple: Three-point shooting.

A team that had trouble scoring last season when it was tied for last in the NBA at 93.2 points per game, has become well-oiled machine when it comes to long range. And the Wizards aren't yet at full capacity with Otto Porter, their top 2013 draft pick, out (right hip flexor). The additions of Marcin Gortat and Al Harrington in the off-season have helped.

"March has given us a physicality inside to go along with Nene. Al just gives us the ability to space the floor whether he's making shots or not. They're guarding him," coach Randy Wittman said. "That creates lanes for John (Wall) to suck the defense in and then find Brad (Beal) and Trevor (Ariza) and Martell (Webster) behind the line."

The Wizards (1-3) have made 49 of 114 three-point attempts, or 43%. Eighteen came Wednesday at the Philadelphia 76ers when they tied a franchise record with 18. Wall had five.

The Wizards have shot 12-for-30, 10-for-25, 9-for-26 and 18-for-33. 

They've lost games because of their defense, which was top 10 in scoring last season but had struggled out of the gate. Wittman wasn't happy with the perimeter pressure on the ball or the post players allowing free runners through the lane. If they have that solved -- and the Wizards believe they may -- then they should continue to get better.  

Martell Webster had his best outing with 14 points in the win vs. the Sixers. He made 4 of 7 threes. The Wizards are averaging 103.2 points per game.

"It's not that I want to take more threes. That's what's open. John makes that available for us. So does Brad, his ability to attack the basket and guys crashing in on him allows him to find guys on the perimeter," Webster said. "It's something that's working. (Wednesday) night was more of a challenge for us to execute those 17-, 15-foot jump shots. Gortat did a great job of hitting those shots early which opened up the court for us, allowed John to get to the basket. Once they went to take that away, it opened up the perimeter again."